Healthy Winter Routines for Your Dog

a young woman playing with her two black dogs in the snow

Winter weather can affect the health of people and pets alike. Here are some ways to keep your dog comfortable and safe this winter.

Understand How Cold Weather Affects Dogs

Even though dogs are covered with fur, they still need protection from cold weather. Low temperatures can cause serious health conditions, such as frostbite and hypothermia, in dogs.

If a dog begins to develop frostbite, its skin can turn pale, gray, or blue. A dog that’s suffering from hypothermia will experience an increase and then a decrease in its heart rate and breathing. It might also become pale and sluggish and lose consciousness.

Keep Your Dog Inside 

Your dog might enjoy playing outside, but you should limit outdoor playtime when the weather is cold and find ways to keep your pet occupied in the house. You’ll have to figure out how much time outside is safe for your dog based on its breed, age, and overall health.

When the temperature plummets, keep your pet in the house as much as possible. This is particularly important if you have a puppy, a senior dog, or a short-haired variety. 

When you take your dog out for a walk during the winter, bundle it up. Get your dog a coat and booties to protect its paws. 

Clean Your Dog’s Feet

You likely use rock salt to melt ice on your driveway or walkway. Crews also spread it on roads to keep vehicles from sliding. 

Rock salt can damage your dog’s paws. After you take your pet for a walk, carefully clean its feet to remove any salt and inspect its paw pads for signs of damage. 

Keep Your Dog off Ice

A body of water that appears to be frozen solid might not be. If your dog walks or runs on ice and cracks, your dog can fall in. You can also fall in the frozen water while holding onto the leash or while trying to rescue your pet. 

Don’t allow your dog to walk on ice, even if you think it’s solid. If your dog is likely to tug on the leash, plan your walk to steer clear of a frozen body of water. 

Keep Your Pet in Your Yard

Dogs love to explore their surroundings, but they don’t always recognize the dangers that are all around them. DogWatch of Eastern Massachusetts can install a hidden fence that will keep your dog in your yard and away from cars and other hazards. If there is a pond, river, or lake near your house, a hidden fence can keep your dog away from the water. Contact us today to learn more and to get a quote.

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